The Suns put up over 2,000 3-point field goals last year — and departed starters Quentin Richardson and Joe Johnson took more than half of them.
Now that Michael Finley has decided to sign with San Antonio and free agent Scott Padgett likely will set sail for the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni served up some music to the ears of new Sun James Jones on Thursday.
‘I told him we had a thousand 3s to make up, and I’ve penciled him in for about 500 of them,’’ D’Antoni said.
The 6-foot-8 swingman is happy to oblige. After learning at the side of the greatest long-range shooter in league history — Indiana’s Reggie Miller — Jones made 40 percent of his 166 attempts last season and is looking forward to the increased workload.
"I’m a shooter, and I’m pretty sure I’ll get a chance to showcase some talents even that my family members don’t know about,’’ said Jones, who signed a four-year, $11 million deal with the Pacers before coming to Phoenix for a second-round draft pick. "This is a great opportunity. When it arose, I told my agent, ‘Hey, if you can make it happen, make it happen at all costs.’ ‘’
The Pacers hated to part with Jones, who stepped up while Ron Artest, Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson served suspensions for the brawl in Detroit last year. But Indiana was up against the luxury tax threshold and could not afford to keep him.
"People who don’t know him are going to find out about James Jones,’’ Suns president Bryan Colangelo said. "He’s going to a big part of the team moving forward. We’re elated to get him.’’
Jones’ acquisition likely ends Phoenix’s roster overhaul for the summer. Padgett is close to signing with the Clippers and there isn’t much left on the free agent market that interests the Suns, even at a veteran’s minimum salary. The Suns will have 13 players under contract when rookie Lucas Tischer signs before camp, and Colangelo said three or four other players could be be invited to camp.
BONUS SHOTS: Colangelo said there has been no progress in contract extension talks with center Amaré Stoudemire. The two sides are working on a five-year extension which, when completed could earn Stoudemire just under $90 million over the next six years. . . .
Suns players will begin informal workouts on Tuesday at America West Arena. Guard Steve Nash is already in town and said he likes the new roster that will include eight new faces.
"I think we’ve made some positive moves and I’m excited,’’ Nash said. "Obviously, we didn’t want to lose Joe (Johnson), but we didn’t have much of a play there because he wanted to try something else. I love the guy, but I’m not completely sure what he wants. I wish him the best and I’m going to miss him.’’